Few caveats to the numbers.
1) Players transferring for any reason
2) Players dismissed for any reason
I did not count any players lost to career ending injury, any players who opted to pursue a professional sport or any players who never it made it on campus.
I considered these 3 schools because they have coaches who have been there 4+ years and are legit contenders (which disqualfies Vandy). I did this because a) you can't draw reasonable conclusions from changing coaching staffs and b) even if vandy signed a full lot and kept every player they still wouldn't be competitive in the SEC so it's impossible to tell the affects of attrition.
Florida 72 20 27.8% 2005-2007
Georgia 67 10 14.9% 2005-2007
LSU 65 18 27.7% 2005-2007
That's recruits committed, recruits lost and percentage.
So, juxtaposing Florida to LSU due to their similar attrition rates, let's take a more in-depth look at the numbers and what affect this had on the depth chart.
QB: Each lost 1 5 star QB. However, the situations were significantly different. For LSU, losing Ryan Perrilloux was a tremendous blow to the depth chart. Perrilloux was dismissed prior to the season he was expected to become a starter, this after having a couple years of seasoning to prepare him for SEC play. As a result the Tigers were forced to resort to redshirt freshman Jarrett Lee, which proved to be disastrous. As Lee continued to struggle the Tigers gave the duties to true freshman Jordan Jefferson, who again took the reigns this year as a true sophomore. It's unlikely that the entirety of LSU's offensive woes can be placed on the Perrilloux departure, but their struggles at the QB position certainly can. Conversely, Florida lost 5-star Cameron Newton at a different juncture. With Tebow already entrenched as a starter and prepared to hold the position for another 2 years, Newton was dismissed. Though we can't be sure of the effects of losing Tebow on the Florida offense, we can certainly deduce that they won't have to default to an entirely unexperienced QB this season, as John Brantley has had plenty of time to learn from the bench. Had Newton remained on the straight and narrow, he would have battled Brantley for the starting position but it's hard to see both of them sticking with Florida and sacrificing any chance to be a starter. In any case, Florida would have been prepared with a well-tutored starter behind Tebow. The Gators also lost 4-star Josh Portis, who many believe was the heir apparent to the Florida offense once Chris Leak graduated. However, due to the fact that Portis has never put it together at any point in his college career it seems unlikely that he would have done so for the Gators either. 3-star Bryan Waggener was another QB commit, but considering he was a project, it was unlikely he'd ever be a significant contributor.
RB: Losing a RB is perhaps the most insignicant loss of any position in football unless you already have a truly elite and unreplaceable talent (which is rare). In most cases teams will have a solid stable of running backs who are interchangeable and can be productive. LSU has lost 2 RBs to Florida's 3. By looking at current depth charts I don't think either team suffered tremendous losses due to these departures. For LSU one running back was 4-star Antonio Robinson, who was having trouble competing with backs younger than him. The other was 4-star Steven Korte. Korte could have helped the Tigers this year at the FB position but because he is listed as a RB it's impossible to know how that transition would have went. The Gators lost a trio of 4-star backs: Bo Williams, Chevon Walker, Mon Williams. The last 2 years the Gators have relied upon their smaller, speedier backs (Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey) and the power of Tebow to drive their running game. Both Bo and Mon Williams could have been alternatives as power backs. However, the Gators received transfer Emmanuel Moody who is more powerfully built and he was used sparingly throughout the year. Could they have provided a power running attack to help rest Tebow?
WR: At the receiver position Florida last 3 4-star talents while LSU lost 1 4-star and a 3-star. LSU has had tremendous success of late with their WRs from Dwayne Bowe, Craig Davis and Early Doucet to Demetrius Byrd and Brandon LaFell and now the future with Terrance Toliver and Rueben Randle. It is unlikely that 4-star Ricky Dixon would have ever made a significant contribution. 3-star Tim Molton was reportedly (according to corner Patrick Peterson) the hardest player to cover after the spring this year. Unfortunately Molton suffered an injury and felt he wasn't the same afterwards and transferred. Molton certainly could help a WR corps that will be very green next year. For Florida 4-stars Jamar Hornsby, Jarred Fayson, Nyan Boateng could all have been potential difference makers. Next season Florida will enter the season with the inconsistent Deonte Thompson as their top option. Hornsby and Boateng both had good size and Fayson had blazing speed. The Gators certainly could use that experience next year. Furthermore, without Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy this year their passing attack struggled at times.
This post was edited on 1/27 at 3:15 pm